At least five people have been killed and over 2 dozen wounded when a car bomb exploded at a police headquarters in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand Province.
The blast took place in Lashkargah, Helmand’s provincial capital, on Wednesday, with the Taliban militant group claiming the responsibility for the bombing.
“A … bomber detonated an explosive-filled car in a parking lot near the main police headquarters in Lashkargah,” said Omar Zhwak, a spokesman for the governor of Helmand province.
He further noted that five civilians had lost their lives and 25 sustained injuries in the explosion that also damaged a mosque near the police headquarters.
Meanwhile, Mauladad Tabihdad, director of hospitals in Helmand, said most of the wounded were schoolchildren.
“The car bomb targeted a number of army vehicles parked in the parking lot. We have reports of some casualties to army soldiers,” Salam Afghan, a police spokesman, told AFP.
Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump unveiled his administration’s new strategy in Afghanistan, saying he would prolong the military intervention in the Asian country and rejected what he called “arbitrary timetables” for the withdrawal of US troops.
Although Trump did not provide details about the exact number of troops he might send, he hinted that he had embraced the Pentagon’s proposal to deploy another 4,000 more forces to Afghanistan. There are already 8,400 American boots on the ground there.
Following Trump’s announcement, the Taliban vowed to make Afghanistan a “graveyard” for US forces.
Afghanistan has been torn by decades of a Taliban-led militancy and the 2001 invasion of the US and its allies. The terrorist group of Daesh has also emerged there more recently.